Future GT Winner (Edition 2021)

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Who will win a Grand Tour?


  • Total voters
    125
  • Poll closed .
What would this poll would have looked like in the past?
In 1999 these might have been the options:
  • Ángel Casero
  • Fernando Escartín
  • Frank Vandenbroucke
  • Gilberto Simoni
  • Igor González de Galdeano
  • José Maria Jimenez
  • Laurent Dufaux
  • Paolo Savoldelli
  • Richard Virenque
  • Roberto Heras
Who would you have voted for back then?
Heras/Simoni probably, but to be honest, I really started thinking of Heras is a genuine win contender only after the 2000 Tour.

And Simoni/Savoldelli I felt were rather flukey in the sense that they got their best GC result at that point off the back of a couple of WTF stages and not through being genuinely 3-week consistent.
 
Heras/Simoni probably, but to be honest, I really started thinking of Heras is a genuine win contender only after the 2000 Tour.

And Simoni/Savoldelli I felt were rather flukey in the sense that they got their best GC result at that point off the back of a couple of WTF stages and not through being genuinely 3-week consistent.
Savoldelli had more of a progression and was already inside the top 10 the previous year, while the 3 years older Gibo got his first big gc result in 1999.
Still, I feel that people probably would have picked both of them and Casagrande (despite his clinic related problems) over Garzelli as the next Italian gt winner.
 
Savoldelli had more of a progression and was already inside the top 10 the previous year, while the 3 years older Gibo got his first big gc result in 1999.
Still, I feel that people probably would have picked both of them and Casagrande (despite his clinic related problems) over Garzelli as the next Italian gt winner.
The only other mountain stage where Savoldelli was top 5 in 99 was Aprica and he lost 4 minutes to the best that day. The 99 me had doubts about the repeatability of that GC result and he was right for 3 years (even if Savoldelli had some bad luck inbetween IIRC).
 
If you consider Roglic to be both halves of his Tour rivals in 2 years, then yes?

I just don't think that "luck is needed to win the Tour" is enough to handwave it all away and to also ignore the gaping chasm of difference in level between the two.

For Pogacar, the "what if" is that Roglic might have given him a fight.

For Evans, the "what if" is by how many minutes he loses if Contador doesn't go to the Giro and doesn't crash multiple times in that Tour.
In 2020, crashes/injuries/poor prep took out Froome, Thomas, Bernal, Pinot... basically any non-Slovenian who could win a GT.

Any GT winner needs a bit of luck, and needs to take chances when they come up. Evans was a deserved winner of the 2011 Tour, every bit as much as Sastre, Wiggins, Bernal, Nibali, and others I can't think of right now were deserved winners of their yellow jerseys.
 
To me it really is all about the clinic stuff. But anyhow; I think the riders above u23 today are screwed. Because Pog and Rog can last two years more, and when they fade those riders that are now young will be 25 and above. And the u23 isn't exactly lacking in upcoming talent.

I also believe since they started out so young they will peak sooner. I wouldn't be surprised if Rogla outlived Pog tbh. I don't think it's age that makes a rider fade but how long they have been pros.

With all that said I root for Vingegaard and Almeida. Definitely Martinez too. But I would be less surprised if Van Aert or Sepp Kuss wins than either of them.

But I doubt it will be in a GT Pog targets seriously. Or a Rogla that doesn't crash :D

I have been surprised of how Vlasov haven't been up there this year.

Oh and Ben O Connor is another one that wouldn't surprise me.

So let's hope for a GT sans Rog and Pog with Vingegaard, Almeida and Martinez. :D

Oh and Mas and Carapaz!
 
What would this poll would have looked like in the past? In 1987 it could have been something like this:
  • Andrew Hampsten
  • Charly Mottet
  • Erik Breukink
  • Fabio Parra
  • Flavio Giupponi
  • Jean-François Bernard
  • Raúl Alcalá
  • Reimund Dietzen
  • Robert Millar
  • Urs Zimmermann
In 1999 these might have been the options:
  • Ángel Casero
  • Fernando Escartín
  • Frank Vandenbroucke
  • Gilberto Simoni
  • Igor González de Galdeano
  • José Maria Jimenez
  • Laurent Dufaux
  • Paolo Savoldelli
  • Richard Virenque
  • Roberto Heras
Who would you have voted for back then?
In 1999 I would probably have said Pogacar.
 
What would this poll would have looked like in the past? In 1987 it could have been something like this:
  • Andrew Hampsten
  • Charly Mottet
  • Erik Breukink
  • Fabio Parra
  • Flavio Giupponi
  • Jean-François Bernard
  • Raúl Alcalá
  • Reimund Dietzen
  • Robert Millar
  • Urs Zimmermann
In 1999 these might have been the options:
  • Ángel Casero
  • Fernando Escartín
  • Frank Vandenbroucke
  • Gilberto Simoni
  • Igor González de Galdeano
  • José Maria Jimenez
  • Laurent Dufaux
  • Paolo Savoldelli
  • Richard Virenque
  • Roberto Heras
Who would you have voted for back then?
Kelly would have been on the 87 list. Phil Anderson might still have made some people's lists. Someone would probably have said "I wish Argentin would ride a GT for GC..." The Dutch would all have a debate over whether Breukink or Rooks deserves to be there.
 
In the current era of the superkids this looks like a tougher proposition for a lot of these kind of guys than it did a few years ago when most GTs were being won by late bloomers. But that pattern may shift back again at some point. And in any case in these discussions it tends to get overlooked that the Giro and Vuelta have quite frequently been won by guys who only won one GT in their careers and that hasn’t stopped being true. A lot of riders who are extremely unlikely to win a Tour can get lucky at another GT and show up in the form of their life against a fortuitously weak field
 
In the current era of the superkids this looks like a tougher proposition for a lot of these kind of guys than it did a few years ago when most GTs were being won by late bloomers. But that pattern may shift back again at some point. And in any case in these discussions it tends to get overlooked that the Giro and Vuelta have quite frequently been won by guys who only won one GT in their careers and that hasn’t stopped being true. A lot of riders who are extremely unlikely to win a Tour can get lucky at another GT and show up in the form of their life against a fortuitously weak field
On the other hand, if Thomas hadn't crashed out of the Giro last year and had won the race (hardly unlikely), then there would have only been two one-time GT winners since Dumoulin: Yates & Carapaz, both of them probably able to win a GT again. Before that trio you had to go all the way back to Aru (2015) & Horner (2013), and I think they fit the bill of one-hit wonders better.
 
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Kelly would have been on the 87 list. Phil Anderson might still have made some people's lists. Someone would probably have said "I wish Argentin would ride a GT for GC..." The Dutch would all have a debate over whether Breukink or Rooks deserves to be there.
Anderson wasn’t really thought of as having any chance at a GC outside of Australia at the time. Nobody gave him much chance here either.

Kelly was a strange one because he was already 32 years old. For someone outside of the UK, Kelly was a hell of a rider but it got old watching him hyped as a Tour Favorite every single year and then falling on his ass. That’s not to criticize him, it’s just my memories of him at the time. We didn’t have much coverage of the Vuelta stateside, it was all Tour, Roubaix, and the Giro.
 
Anderson wasn’t really thought of as having any chance at a GC outside of Australia at the time. Nobody gave him much chance here either.

Kelly was a strange one because he was already 32 years old. For someone outside of the UK, Kelly was a hell of a rider but it got old watching him hyped as a Tour Favorite every single year and then falling on his ass. That’s not to criticize him, it’s just my memories of him at the time. We didn’t have much coverage of the Vuelta stateside, it was all Tour, Roubaix, and the Giro.
They were both getting on, but they were both consistent classic winners (at a time when that didn’t disqualify you from being a gc contender), 1-week stage race winners (they had both won Suisse, Anderson won a Dauphiné, Kelly couldn’t stop winning P-N), they were consistent GT top-10 finishers, and Kelly had been very unlucky in the 87 Vuelta.

If we using the Tour as a benchmark, I don’t think it’s unreasonable to rate either of them ahead of Dietzen, whose best TdF finish was 61st.
 
On the other hand, if Thomas hadn't crashed out of the Giro last year and had won the race (hardly unlikely), then there would have only been two one-time GT winners since Dumoulin: Yates & Carapaz, both of them probably able to win a GT again. Before that trio you had to go all the way back to Aru (2015) & Horner (2013), and I think they fit the bill of one-hit wonders better.
Well yes, but Thomas did crash out. And Thomas crashing out is hardly a freak occurrence. Meaning that there are five one time GT winners from the last five years. Of them it would only be a big surprise if TGH won a second, but one a year is a considerable number.

It‘s not very likely for any individual rider, but really quite a lot of riders are good enough to be the lucky guy who hits the form of his life at a GT where the field is unusually weak.
 
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If you consider Roglic to be both halves of his Tour rivals in 2 years, then yes?

I just don't think that "luck is needed to win the Tour" is enough to handwave it all away and to also ignore the gaping chasm of difference in level between the two.

For Pogacar, the "what if" is that Roglic might have given him a fight.

For Evans, the "what if" is by how many minutes he loses if Contador doesn't go to the Giro and doesn't crash multiple times in that Tour.
That's being too unfair to Evans, and too fair to Contador. After all, we give great credit to Alberto for what he did in the 2011 Giro (even if the official record books don't show it), it adds to his legacy as far as cycling fans are concerned. Should we give him credit for both what he did, and did not do?

At the end of the day Evans won the Tour, and he defeated the Schleck's head to head/s in a race that really didn't have much TT kms.
 
That's being too unfair to Evans, and too fair to Contador. After all, we give great credit to Alberto for what he did in the 2011 Giro (even if the official record books don't show it), it adds to his legacy as far as cycling fans are concerned. Should we give him credit for both what he did, and did not do?

At the end of the day Evans won the Tour, and he defeated the Schleck's head to head/s in a race that really didn't have much TT kms.
I don't consider Evans an undeserved Tour winner nor do I want to gift Contador hypothetical Tour wins.

Some degree of luck is always needed, but that doesn't make a the guy winning the Tour by 5 minutes in week one comparable to the guy that won the Tour on the last ITT
 
Evans rode great but a lot of contenders crashed (especially those that could rival him in the TT of Wiggins and Klöden who were both in good form) that year on top of Contador originally not planning on the Tour. If Contador didn’t attack early on the Alpe stage it would have been crazier on the climb.
But he rode a perfect race, was in form, his team was there for him, set the pace himself when he needed too, and avoided all troubles.
Well looking who couldn't hold Cadel's wheel on the Galibier that day I very much doubt Klöden, Wiggo or Van den Broeck could have changed the result. Klöden was a match for Cadel in 2006. Not 2011. And doubtful any of these three riders could have done anything on stage 19 when Contador went psycho from the gun. I also doubt Cadel's former domestique Chris Horner could have rivalled Evans that year. Would have lost at least two minutes in the TT. Cadel fully deserved that 2011 win. And it should be noted he achieved that when already past his physiological prime.
 
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I don't consider Evans an undeserved Tour winner nor do I want to gift Contador hypothetical Tour wins.

Some degree of luck is always needed, but that doesn't make a the guy winning the Tour by 5 minutes in week one comparable to the guy that won the Tour on the last ITT
Cadel won the 2011 Tour by how he rode on stages 12, 16, 18, 19 and 20. It wasn't just the ITT. And lets not forget that the 2011 parcours was custom made for Contador.

You are being presumptuous that Contador could have rivalled Evans even without that Giro. Sure he showed some weakness on stages 12 and 18 but the Giro and crashes didn't seem to slow Contador on stages 4, 16, 17, 19 or even the TT when he was 3rd quickest. And remember Andy finished only 39 seconds behind Contador in the 2010 TdF.

I remember all the confident predictions Evans would be toast in the Alpes. Those claims ebbed away on the Galibier that day.
 
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Well looking who couldn't hold Cadel's wheel on the Galibier that day I very much doubt Klöden, Wiggo or Van den Broeck could have changed the result. Klöden was a match for Cadel in 2006. Not 2011. And doubtful any of these three riders could have done anything on stage 19 when Contador went psycho from the gun. I also doubt Cadel's former domestique Chris Horder could have rivalled Evans that year. Would have lost at least two minutes in the TT. Cadel fully deserved that 2011 win. And it should be noted he achieved that when already past his physiological prime.
We will never know but other riders being there and not crashing would have changed the results. I wouldn't consider Horner rivaling anyone as he Daniel Navarro'd his way into a top 10 from 6'45" otherwise he would have finished 16th (17th) that year. Maybe Evans wins by more, or less, or someone else wins. He was in great shape that year, rode to win it, and had everything roll his way in luck. Wiggins and Kloden would have rivaled him in the TT, could they have stayed close in the mountains is anyones guess but both were in good shape.

Just because Contador had a high base doesn't mean the Giro and crashes didn't affect him. He is the only GC rider that didn't show a huge drop in form after completing that Giro. It was taxing on everyone.
 
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Wiggins and Kloden would have rivaled him in the TT, could they have stayed close in the mountains is anyones guess but both were in good shape.
That is not a given remember Evans almost beat Tony Martin that day. Martin had saved himself for the TT unlike Cadel.

There are obviously matters of opinion but the TT at the end of the Tour is a test of recovery not just who is the strongest against the clock. By stage 20 they had just ridden two massive days in the Alpes at the end of three weeks of racing. That is why Giro fatigued Contador still finished 3rd in the TT - AC had great recovery. I think crashes and Giro fatigue were over estimated, it affected him some days not so much most stages. I also doubt 2011 Wiggins could have stayed close in the mountains. There were also lots of tricky descents and Wiggo wasn't great going downhill. Kloden's best years were 2004-2006. By 2011 he was done.
 
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Yes, the unrivaled, unparalleled Cadel "never won a GT mountain stage" Evans
Not sure how relevant this is either. GT mountain stages are not easy to win (for example, outside of 97 did Ullrich win any?), and were probably even more so in Cadel's era (compared to today) when there were arguably less of them, and when they tended to be a little more queen stageish in difficulty.

What's more, Cadel's consistency didn't allow him the opportunity to win them from a breakaway, and for the most part he was a marked rider.

Looking back on 2011 Contador, maybe the double didn't really effect him? This is pre ban Contador, and he hadn't tried the Giro-Tour double at another time to compare. So maybe it was more about those early Tour crashes?

Regardless, 2011 Giro Contador is a higher level than 2011 Tour Evans. Just how much better is hard to say, but probably not five minutes.

P.S. As for Wiggins and Klöden, I think we're talking possible podium rather than victory. As pointed out, Evans' ITT was very strong, and just where do they hope to gain time (assuming that they manage to hold on during every mountain stage, which is quite questionable)? I don't see either rider attacking with Schleck on Luz Ardiden or Izoard (it wasn't really their mentality, even if they had the legs). I can see them working with Cadel on Galibier, but that only helps Cadel, and reduces the gap to Andy (reinforcing their hypothetical podium chances).
 
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